Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Jon Rahm secures convincing six-stroke Irish Open victory

Padraig Harrington on the 11th hole Padraig Harrington on the 11th hole
Vera Richards | 10 July, 2017, 01:47

Royal County Down and Royal Portrush have each hosted it four times.

But perhaps the Spanish victor Rahm bears closest comparison with is Masters champion Sergio Garcia who clinched the title aged just 19 at Druids Glen.

"Obviously, I might have a few commitments here this weekend, but I need to practice", he said.

The tournament formed part of the prestigious new Rolex Series of events, boasting a prize fund of £5.4m, and Rahm picked up £585,000 for his victory.

Viewers had called in to say that Rahm had replaced his ball in the wrong position on the sixth green.

A 30-foot eagle at the 14th extended Rahm's lead to seven, before the Spaniard posted his first bogey of the day by sliding a putt wide from 12 feet at the 16th.

As for the Irish, while there would be no homegrown victor to banish all thoughts of McIlroy's missed cut, but the final round brought some joy in the shape of 22-year-old Dubliner Gavin Moynihan.

Challenge Tour player Gavin Moynihan finished as the leading home player in a share of 20th place on 13 under after a closing 64.

Sadly, for him, his record lasted only an hour as Scotland's David Drysdale reached -17 with an inspired 63 - rounded off with seven consecutive birdies.

Southgate's share of second was the best finish of his career to date, eclipsing his fourth place in the same event past year. His back nine was bookended by bogeys at 10 and 18, but in-between he he was one fire and has booked himself not only a season抯-best finish, but a place in The Open too.

Keith Pelley, the European Tour's Chief Executive told the BBC that Rory McIllroy was a big fan of the course.

Those who have played Ballyliffin, situated on the tip of the Inishowen Peninsula, appreciate the quality of the test on the Glashedy Links, designed by Pat Ruddy. He's one of the fastest rising stars in the world.

But that's for next year - today was all about one man. Rham. "It's going to be wonderful playing with Jon Rahm".

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